Monday, April 25th – High Anxiety: The Science behind Meditation and Anxiety

When: Monday, April 25th 7-9 PM
What: High Anxiety: The Science behind Meditation and Anxiety
Who: Philippe Goldin, Research Associate, CAAN Center, Stanford University
Where: Atlas Cafe, 3049 20th St @ Alabama St. in the Mission District
The Deets:
Once reserved for Tibetan monks, meditation has become popular especially here in the Bay Area. This practice of bringing one’s attention to the present has been said to provide tremendous well-being and emotional balance. Scientists have also begun to bring their attention to meditation for its affects in “re-wiring” the brain. This area of research has been named “Mindfulness”. From the positive results of Mindfulness study, many therapists have begun to use meditation as a treatment for patients with mild anxiety and depressive tendencies.

Specifically, there has been an explosion of scientific interest in the effects of different forms of meditation training and how they reduce suffering and enhance well-being especially in people suffering from anxiety. Methods from both clinical science and neuroscience have been used to explore the attentional and cognitive mechanisms by which meditation practices impact the brain and modify symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.

During this science discussion, we will practice specific contemplations together, examine the evidence for how such meditative practices modulate brain circuitry and psychological functioning, and engage in a lively discussion of the role of meditation, attention and anxiety in our society.

About the Speaker:
Dr. Philippe Goldin, Ph.D. is a research scientist and heads the Clinically Applied Affective Neuroscience group in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University.

He spent 6 years in India and Nepal studying various languages, Buddhist philosophy and debate at Namgyal Monastery and the Dialectic Monastic Institute, and serving as an interpreter for various Tibetan Buddhist lamas. He then returned to the U.S. to complete a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Rutgers University. His NIH-funded clinical research focuses on (a) functional neuroimaging investigations of cognitive-affective mechanisms in adults with anxiety disorders, (b) comparing the effects of mindfulness meditation and cognitive-behavioral therapy on brain-behavior correlates of emotional reactivity and regulation, and (c) training children in family and elementary school settings in mindfulness skills to reduce anxiety and enhance compassion, self-esteem and quality of family interactions.

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